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Office of International Studies and Programs

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Phone: +1-509-963-3612
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Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

Arrival/Orientation FAQs:

What is the nearest airport to CWU?

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac).

How do I get to Ellensburg from Seattle?

Ellensburg is about 90km from the city of Seattle. If you need to take a bus from the city or directly from SeaTac Airport, these are your options:

Will I be required to self-isolate or self-quarantine when I arrive to the U.S. or on-campus?

No, there are currently no mandatory quarantines for international travelers.

For students arriving from outside the U.S., the CDC will require travelers be vaccinated for COVID-19 (unless medically unable to receive the vaccine) before boarding their flight. Once student arrives in the U.S., they should follow CDC recommendations for return travelers. It is generally recommended that students’ monitor their health for 14 days from the time they return from international travel. International flights arrive at specific airports in the U.S. which may have additional screening and requirements. Students are recommended to prepare to social distance and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the U.S.

To help protect the CWU campus community, CWU strongly recommends all students get tested upon arrival to campus. Students can get free COVID-19 tests on-campus Student Health Services. Other, paid, options can be found on the Washington State Department of Health website.

Are face masks required on-campus?

Face coverings are not required most places, but continue to be required in several places:

  • Lab classes that have close contact, as noted by the faculty member on their syllabus.
  • Public transportation.
  • Health and medical facilities, including the CWU Student Medical and Counseling Center.
  • University-owned or contracted vans or buses for the transportation of large groups of students.

Does CWU require a COVID vaccine?

Yes. Vaccines will be required of all members of the Central Washington University community. Only international students living outside the United States and studying online are exempt unless you have a medical or religious exemption. Check here for more information about exemptions.

CWU will be offering free vaccines for those of you who need it. We will include a time during orientation that you can get your first dose.    

I can’t get vaccinated in my home country. Can I get vaccinated in the U.S.?

Yes. You will be able to get a vaccine when you come to the U.S. We will be offering vaccines as a part of new international student orientation. Otherwise vaccines will be available at CWU’s Student Health Services.

What if I am not fully vaccinated by the start of classes?

Though you are required to be vaccinated to attend spring quarter, you can be on campus with a mask while you wait to by fully vaccinated.

Which vaccines meet the requirement?

COVID vaccinations will be accepted if they are authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Moving forward, if other vaccines receive emergency use authorization or regular approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or WHO, CWU will accept those vaccinations as proof of full vaccination.

Is international student orientation mandatory?


I won’t be able to attend either the International Student Orientation or the CWU orientation, what should I do?

Please email and let them know of your situation.  We will then provide you a way to be included or receive information you miss.

I won’t be able to arrive by the first day of class, September 21, what should I do?

Please do your best to arrive in time to attend the first classes on September 21.  If it is impossible, please do the following:

First, contact to let us know when you plan to arrive.  If we determine that it is okay for you to arrive by the planned date, we will add a notation to your SEVIS record to notify Customs and Border Patrol that you have permission to arrive late. 

Second, contact your professors by email to inform them that you’ll be late.  Students who do not attend (or show signs of activity for online classes) by the third day of class will risk getting dropped from the course.  If you need assistance contacting your professors, your International Student Advisor (Roz Moes for Ellensburg campus students; Caitlin Lawson for Center students) can assist you.

Third, if your classes have an online component, participate online as much as possible. 

Fourth, if you applied for on-campus housing, email to inform them when you will arrive/check-in to your room.

Can I move-in early to on-campus housing?

Yes! International students participating in our orientation will be allowed to move in on Wednesday, September 14, even if your check-in time is scheduled differently in MyHousing.  Available check-in times for this day will be announced soon

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